General Studies – Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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Topic – Art Forms, GS-1

  1. What is culture and what are its general characteristics? Discuss any four important characteristics of Indian culture. (200 Words)
  2. “The period between B.C. 600 and B.C. 200 is important not only for political unity of the country but also for cultural unity.” Comment. (200 Words)
  3. The Alvars and Nayanars of Tamil Nadu led an inclusive Bhakti movement where they accommodated the women and the lower caste communities at the same time opposing the traditional religions of the time. Comment.  (200 Words)
  4. Write a short note on the following in about 100 Words: 4 x 5 = 20

a) The Sattriya dance form

                  b) Gombeyaata

                 c) Purandaradasa

                d)  Lai Haraoba

     5. What are the architectural traditions that inspired the architects of           Vijayanagara? How did they transform these traditions? (200 Words)  


Tomorrow’s Topics:

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features

  • RAJ

    Sir, links to other sources for answer (for eg. link to HINDU ) have not been provided. Why sir?

    • BB

      It’s GS writing challenge sir!

      • RAJ

        HA HA

  • Nikam

    Dear Sir,

    Can you please mention the sources a day in advance so that we can prepare them well.

  • Nikhil D

    Sir, It will be helpful if sources are provided like last time.

  • MGhosh

    Sattriya Dance Form : Sattriya dance form was introduced in 15th century AD by a Vaishnava saint and reformer of Assam , Mahapurusha Sankaradeva to propogate Vaishnava faith.Traditionally performed by celibate monks in Sattras i.e. Vaishnava maths , the dance form dealt with mythological stories with distinct hastamudras , footwork and music.It is accompanied by borgeets or traditional ragas and instruments like cymbals , flute and drums. In the year 2000 , Sangeet Natak Akademi recognised Sattyriya Nritya as one of the 8 principle dance forms of India.

    • Aslesha Garapati

      all the four are very well could have written them at same place..keep writing 🙂

  • .

  • JNT

    hello…. what all sources are to be covered before answering these questions??

    also… @insights…. i really appreciate this blog and this initiative….. but one suggestion… schedule lenghty topics for tuesdays so that we have adequate time to prepare!!!

    • mushtaq

      well written.but characteristics need to be explained

  • Prerna

    What is culture and what are its general characteristics? Discuss any four important characteristics of Indian culture. (200 Words)

    Culture is a system of knowledge shared by group of people like belief , religion , attitude , language etc. It distinguishes members of one group from other.

    The general characteristics of culture are –
    it is a product of human behavior,
    it transmits through learning ,
    it integrated human society ,
    it gratifies human needs etc.

    Culture is social : Culture cannot exist in isolation. It develops by interacting with different kinds of people in society.

    Culture is transmissive : Culture is transmitted from one generation to another like language which binds present generation with old generation.

    Culture varies from society to society: Every society has its own culture . They differs in belief , food , religion , place , moral values etc.

    Culture is dynamic : Culture when passed from one generation to another is subject to some amount of change due to changing situation , changing environment . So it can be slow process but is not constant.

    Hence culture is something which is related to us in every sphere of life which cannot be ignored and is found through out the world.

    • Culture refers to a human made environment which includes all the material and non material products of group life that are transmitted from one generation to the next. The general characteristics of culture are that it is social, shared, learnt, transmissive, continuous and cumulative, dynamic, varies from society to society and gratifying.

      Continuity and Change, Variety and Unity, Secular Outlook and Universalism are a few important characteristics of Indian Culture.

      Despite many changes, significant threads of continuity can be observed throughout the course of Indian history. A few aspects of Harappan culture such as building of houses in villages and worshipping of Mother Goddess and Pashupati are still practiced. However, various changes were brought through reform movements such as Buddhism and Jainism in the 6th Century BC and socio-religious reform movements in the 18th and 19th centuries in modern India.

      India is a land of diverse languages, religions, castes… The vastness of our country and physical and climatic features contributed to its variety. However, there is an underlying unity which is brought by the intermingling of all the varieties which gave rise to composite culture.

      The secular character of Indian culture is a result of the intermingling of diverse cultural groups over a long period of time. Despite occasional conflicts, people have lived together peacefully for centuries.

      India has a universal outlook and has been promoting the messages of peace and harmony throughout the world. As the leader of Non Alligned Movement, India opposed all forms of discrimination based on imperialism, colonialism and racism

      • Katrawat

        Excellent ! I think thats how we should write an answer.

      • Kumar Bhaskar Bhushan

        Well explained…

    • Neurotoxin

      @ perna
      well explained and comprehensive

      • Prerna

        @ neurotoxin : no i thing i have explained it like school level answer 🙂

        • @ prerna
          I think u have explained the characteristics of culture in genreral. It was asked about Indian Culture. Please verify it.
          And review my answer if possible

          • Prerna

            @ gvmnr .. yes u r rite … i need to change my answer …

            and i have seen ur answer . its fine 🙂 keep it up

    • Mandark

      Culture in general is a way of life in which we carry out our day today activities including customs, traditions, festivals, social cohesiveness, etc. Art, literature, music, architecture, philosophy, etc are some of the aspects of culture. There are some features common to all cultures throughout the world – called as the general characteristics. Some of them include: culture is influenced by the environment in which it operates; it is shared and practiced by a group of people; it grows cumulatively; it keeps changing with time; it involves diverse interdependent parts; and it lays down ideal behavior expected to be followed by its followers.

      Indian culture has got huge diversity with varying aspects of language, religion, region, caste, ethnicity, etc. However there are some important characteristics. Firstly, it has endured many changes but the fundamentals are still continuing since ages. Secondly, we can witness in India an assimilation of diverse cultures which is popularly called as unity in diversity i.e. different cultures co-existing together in peace and unity. Thirdly, it has secular character which ensures existence of diverse religions. Secularism is also guaranteed by our constitution. And lastly, Indian culture has influenced the whole world, which makes it universal.

      Culture is a fundamental element of life. We must ensure peaceful coexistence of diverse cultures to make our existence valuable.

      • Mandark

        “The period between B.C. 600 and B.C. 200 is important not only for political unity of the country but also for cultural unity.” Comment (200 Words).

        The period between B.C 600 and B.C 200 witnessed the rise of two religions – the Jainism and the Buddhism which took a heavy toll on the orthodox and over-ritualistic Brahmanical culture.

        By the beginning of this period the Brahmins had become greedy and claimed their superiority. Due to their vested interests the rituals had become very complex and costly and beyond the means of a common man. The reforms led by the Kshatriyas for the poor masses led to the emergence of Jainism and Buddhism. Both these movements strongly opposed the orthodox procedure of rituals performed by Brahmins. Instead they emphasized on good moral life and ethical values. Hinduism underwent many changes, uniting the rich and the poor, the upper caste and the low caste, the male and the female. These religions conveyed a message of unity and rational approach towards religion.

        Buddhism even spread to other parts of the world like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, etc. This served the dual purpose of political as well as cultural unification of these regions. Citing the above features, we can say that rise of Jainism and Buddhism served to achieve political as well as cultural unity which is playing an important role for Indian diplomacy even today with countries like China, Japan and Sri Lanka.

    • mushtaq

      well written.but characteristics need to be explained.

    • Oldton

      sister second part ??

      • Mandark

        Each part has been mentioned. Please read again carefully 🙂

        • Oldton

          talking abt prena sister 😉

    • Dev

      Culture is cultivating or reforming something to a extent that it’s end products invokes respect and admiration.It is made up of traditions,beliefs,way of life from spiritual to material .It gives a meaning,way of leading our lives. Arts,music,painting,sculptures,dance,literature,architecture are various various aspecst of culture.
      Culture has various characteristics.It has to be learned from socio-economic milieu and is not just hereditary and it is assimilatory in nature i.e. keeps on changing with time due to variuos reforms. It is shared by many people and sets ideal behaviour to be followed by people.It is a very diverse in nature.
      Indian culture’s main specilaity is it’s ‘Unity in Diversity’.We have around 8 religions,various languages and various forms of dance ,art are present.yet we can see a commonness in culture due to intermingling of people from different places,and due to climate also which proivde a touch of agriculture to whole india.
      ‘Secular outlook’ is another feature of indian culture.Since we have around 8 religions practised by people,so our constition has provided that no descriminatiosn should be made based on religion.State can not favour any religion.
      Principle of ‘Universalism’ folowed by india allows it to work for promoting peace and prosperity in other countries and to work for rights of LDC.
      And the most important feature is it’s ‘Continuity and Change’.
      We can still find similarity between the practices of harappan urban planning and current period.We are still follwing vedic teachings,jainism and buddhism.But again we can notice lot many changes due to various reforms of jainism and buddhism and reform movements of 18th century.
      Indian culture has followed both materialistic and non materialistic approaches.
      Thus we can infer that culture is the main component which guides an individual and nation.

      • Dev

        Please review my answer.

    • if i am not wrong …we can add that evolution of culture is also influenced by nature and physiography

  • MGhosh

    Gombeyaata : String Puppets from Karnataka are known as Gombeyaata.
    The puppets are styled and designed as per the characters of a traditional theatre form of the region , Yakshagana.The puppets are joined at the elbows , knees , hips , legs and shoulders and are extremely stylized.Episodes in the Gombeyataa plays are based on prasangas of the Yakshagana plays, accompanied by a blend of folk and classical music.Usually five to six strings attached to a prop are used for manipulation and more complicated moves involve manipulation by two to three puppeteers at a time.
    Another form of shadow puppetry from Karnataka is known as Togalu Gombeyaata which makes use of small puppets which differ in size as per the social status of characters in the play.

  • the word culture is derived fro latin word cult which means cultivating or refining.hence, culture can be defined as cultivating and refining a thing such that its end products are able to evoke our respect and admiration.culture expresses our food, clothes, languages,nature of thinking,literatures,religious practices etc. it has two components material and non material culture.
    the general characteristics of culture are: it is cumulative, shared by group of people, dynamic, diverse, continuously evolves etc.
    the four important characteristics of indian culture are following:
    1. indian culture changed continuously but basic spirit remained same.
    e.g. still pashupati, mother goddess are worshipped today.
    2. indian culture follows unity in diversity as different dances , language survive independently.
    3.indian culture has secular outlook as right to practice any religion is provided and is considered basic provision of constituition.
    4.indian culture also promotes peace and harmony to the entire world thus carrying universal outlook as well.

    • Prathibha

      Good answer

      • Oldton

        well structured brother

    • Answer is precise and defined well as required in 2 words….good…go ahead dear

    • Admirer

      culture in latin- cultura

  • MGhosh

    Purandaradasa ; Purandaradasa in one of the most prominent composers of Carnatic music with a pen name of Purandara Vittala . His compositions are in Kannada and Sanskrit .He addressed social issues in addition to worship in his compositions thereby fighting evils of casteism and untouchability. He explained the essence of the Upanishads and Vedas in simple Kannada.His keertans have simple lessons on leading a noble life.Having systematized the teaching style of Carnatic music which is followed till the present day ,he is widely regarded as ‘ Sangeeta Pitamaha’ of Carnatic music for his eminence as a performer, musicologist and a founder of musical pedagogy.

  • Culture is a symbolic term which encompasses the customary traditions and define the living standard and the way of living of the inhabitants of that particular region.Various social , political, economical , literary and musical ,architectural, religious and the other traditions culminated over the years forms the integral part of the culture.
    It is not mere the presence and enrollment of these many factors which will make them inseparable constituents of the culture but also these traditions should be accepted and practiced by the people over the centuries. It is the perseverance and degree of emotional attachment linked with these constituents that will dictate the kind of culture prevailing at particular space at particular point of time.
    India is known worldwide for its rich culture and heritage.It centuries old and one of the veteran customs and traditions practices makes it eligible for this position.Though it had undergone many changes over the period of time but the good part is that had imbibed everything new without getting swollen and bruising its oldest form.
    Religion has always been an integral component and we cannot separate religion from india. India is a birth land of the four major religions of the east that is Hinduism, Buddhism , Jainism and Sikhism. Some liberal varieties of the religious sentiments like suffism and bhakti movement also blossomed here.
    From the vedic literature to post vedic vedangas and upanyas , we have a rich encompilationthe of literature enriched by the succeeding rulers and their court poets and scholars.
    Architecturally from the advanced indus valley architectural remnants we can see the stupas and the some of the marvelous temples on this earth which were built in the ancient and medieval era.The three popular schools of art of the ancient period were The gandhara school of art , The amravati school of art and The mathura school of art.The indo islamic architectue of the medieval era is also a thing to watch.
    The tradition of music and dance in traditional and classical form is unique to india and many of its classical dance forms are nowadays gaining aplaud worldover along with the classical and hindustani form of singing.
    It is mainly because of its well preserved traditions that tourists from all over the world stive to come to india and enjoy the luxary of its cultue.

    • abhijot singh

      though i am replying late but your answer has quite a different approach and covered most of the points 🙂

  • The Alvars and Nayanars of Tamil Nadu led an inclusive Bhakti movement became very popular as they attacked the regidity in religion and object of worship. most of the bhakti saints belonged to lower caste and hence they challenged the caste syatem and superiority of vedas. they accommodated and encouraged women to join the religious gathering as well as the lower caste communities at the same time opposing the traditional religions of the time. the teachings were preached in vernacular languages and therefore connected with the people immensely. people after their teaching were so immensed that they became unhappy with their own religion and desired for a religion which could satisfy them rationally as well as emotionally. they pbelieved in one god theory and spreaded brotherhood everywhere.
    bhakti saints like kabir, nanak. surdas, tulsidas etc are still remembered today and are popular shows the place they occupied in people’s heart that time.

    • Neha

      The 7th to 9th century saw the emergence of new religious movements in India. Nayannars were devotees of shiva and Alvars were devotees of Vishnu.There were 63 Nayannars who belonged to different castes and cultures, famous being Appar,Sambandar etc. There were 12 Alvars.
      Their (Alvars) compilations are written in Divya Prabandham. Hagiographies or religious biographies of the Alvars and Nayannars were also written. They were critical of orthodox caste system, breaking away from ritual oriented vedic religion and believed in an approach of devotion and love as a path to salvations. They ranged from Kings and soldiers to dalits, and famous female saints

      The movement also aimed at reclaiming the people to reformed hinduism and turn the tides against the popularity of Buddhism and Jainism. The Bhakti saints preached through hymns and compilations in local language thus reaching majority of people. Devotees showed their devotion in various attitudes or ‘bhava’ towards the Lord. , that of the servant or slave of the Lord, to serve Him for ever.or a friend of the Lord,like Sudama towards Lord Krishna. Then some consider Lord as their small child and pour out affection, like Yasoda towards Krishna.

  • some spelling mistakes;]

  • MGhosh

    Lai Haraoba is a traditional Manipuri festival celebrated to please and worship traditional deities and ancestors .Lai haraoba which is translated as ‘ Merry making of Gods ‘ celebrates creation of the Universe and birth of different lives on Earth.The festival marks an identity of Meities and in its entirety is a school of philosophy and thought of indigenous Manipuris. Accompanied with dances by both men and women the festival is an occasion for social confluence, integration and understanding among the villagers by celebrating common ancestry ,integrity and communal harmony.

  • Abhishek Kumar

    references please. it would greatly aid in framing quality answers.


    • vijay

      you can use either IGNOU or NOS notes in framing your answers…

      • Abhishek Kumar

        Thank you.

        My request for providing references is for all questions posed everyday. It would reduce the time for we working professionals to find suitable learning resources.

      • saanjh


  • Neha

    What is culture and what are its general characteristics? Discuss any four important characteristics of Indian culture. (200 Words)

    • Culture means “training and refining of mind , tastes and manners thus it is the intellectual side of civilization ” . In sum it means cultivating and refining a thing to such an extent that its end evokes our admiration and respect . Culture is a way of life. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the language we speak in and the God we worship all are aspects of culture.
    • The characteristics of culture are:-
    1) Culture is learned and acquired through the physical and social environment in which we operate.
    2) It is shared and practiced by a group of people.
    3) Culture is cumulative, i.e. passed from one generation to another.
    4) It is dynamic, progressively changing and diverse.
    5) It gives a range of permissible behavior pattern and expressive systems .
    6) It is ideational, so as to gain acceptance from the people within the same culture.(normative)
    Indian culture is one of the most unique and diversified cultures in the world, united together due to its strong secular outlook . One of the main aspects of Indian culture is its endurance and adaptive nature. It has served as a melting pot assimilating in it inputs from all over the world throughout the history of mankind. Indian culture has a universal outlook promotes peace and harmony.

    • Neha

      reference NIOS Culture & Spectrum Culture book

      • Oldton

        one of the best answer.. why ?
        equal nd quality weightage to each part of d qstn nd …well ansrd arnd 200wrds…but the last part of the answers should have included some examples…

    • deep

      don’t write in point form. you should try to write in a paragraph form ..

  • JNT

    Culture can be understood as a way of life and it is reflected in everything we do like the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the way we talk, the way we dress, etc. Etymologically, CULTURE is the same as the Sanskrit word ‘sanskriti, derived from the root word ‘kri’ and when ‘prakriti’(or root matter ) is defined, it becomes to create and in the same way ‘vikriti’ means broken/damaged/decayed matter.
    Thus, we understand that culture is the embodiment of human environment created through transmissions from history and constitutes both material and non material (ideas, beliefs, etc.) components. It is reflected through implicit and explicit human behaviors.
    Indian has a spectacular cultural history owing to its multi-lingual, diverse population. Indian culture can be characterized as CONTINUOUS THOUGH CHANGING at the same time as Indian culture has seen significant changes(be it materialistic or non materialistic) right from the harrapan civilization upto the modern 21st century.
    Moreover, Indian culture has HUGE VARIETY due to its diverse population. For e.g. Custom of a Punjabi family are very different from that of a tamilian but this very culture acts as a huge unifying force whereby when a Punjabi celebrates lohri, a south Indian celebrates pongal.
    Also, Indian culture has a SECULAR AND UNIVERSALISTIC OUTLOOK. The former is illustrated by the co- existence of people with different religious identity like Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, etc, living together in India. Universalism is promoted by the peace loving and non violent principles reflected not only in the values but also macroeconomic policies and most importantly the foreign policy of India.
    Last but one of the most important aspects of Indian culture is that encompasses both spiritualistic as well as materialistic components. Though largely seen and perceived as a spiritual country, india has also been the home to various atheist thinking like Buddhism and Jainism who were silent about God.

    • aslesha2013

      The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought is defined as culture. (dictionary-source).. This is simple and adding this to ur answers makes ur 1st part of the answer strong.

  • vijay

    What is culture and what are its general characteristics? Discuss any four important characteristics of Indian culture. (200 Words)

    Culture may be defined as the way an individual and a group live, think, feel and organize themselves, celebrate and share life. In deeper sense culture produces the kind of literature, music, dance, sculpture, architecture and various other art forms and structures that make the functioning of the society smooth and well-ordered.

    Culture has two distinctive components-material and non-material. Material culture consists of our dress, food, and household goods. Non-material culture refers to ideas, ideals, thoughts and belief. Culture varies from place to place and country to country.

    Culture has different characteristics. It can be acquired, lost or shared. It is cumulative. It is dynamic, diverse, ideational and gives us a range of permissible behaviour-pattern.

    Culture is learned and acquired: Individuals can acquire Culture hereditarily while socio-cultural patterns can be learned from parents, group and society.
    Culture is cumulative: More and more knowledge can be added when culture passed from one generation to another. In passing time, these knowledge, thoughts, traditions can be lost when new traits are added.
    Culture is dynamic: No culture remains permanent, it is changing constantly as new ideas and new techniques are added as time passes.
    Culture gives us a range of permissible behaviour patterns: It involves how an activity should be conducted, how an individual should act appropriately.

    Culture is closely linked with life. It gives us meaning, a way of leading our lives. Human beings are creators of culture and, at the same time, culture is what makes us human. Culture is determined, shaped historically and socially. In turn, it influences the social, economic and political development of people or nation.

    plz review
    thanx and regards

    • Oldton

      ur overall content is good but friend it is not accrding to d question also 268 words..1st prt of d questn z fine bt 2nd part ????

      • vijay

        plz see below, i have written it again

        • Oldton

          commented there too but brothr dnt tke ne thing personal

          • Oldton

            write it one more time i will sleep after reviewing it

            • Oldton

              good night boss

  • sonali

    culture of a society is the way of life of its members;the collection of ideas,the habits which they learn share and transmit from one generation to another.
    general characterstic..
    1,it is learned-i.e learned by an individual during grown up time is shared-i.e.shared by group of ppl as a form of belief is cumulative=-i.e different knowledge add in it and passes to the generation. is diverse-i.e it is full of diversity e.g indias culture
    5 it is dynamic-i.e it changes accordingly
    the culture of india is 5000 years old. because of its adaptivity it survived til now.each part of india carries its own history,own has 22 official language with so many regional languages.the majority of people in india are hindus but at the same time 13% muslim makes the largest islamic nation in the world.india is known for its spirituality but with rationality.unity in diversity is the characterstic of indian culture

    please review..

    • Oldton

      u shld hve added atlst.. 25-30 more words..although ur presentation zt good..but there is a feeling of lacking something while reading it

      • sonali

        thank u for reviewing my ans..vl try to improve!!!

  • Chandra

    1.What is culture and what are its general characteristics? Discuss any four important characteristics of Indian culture. (200 Words)

    Culture word is derived from latin word ‘cult’ means tilling or cultivating. It has resemblence with the sanskrit word ‘sanskriti’.
    In other words, culure is a way of life of the group of people- the behaviour, belief, life-style, language, arts, attitute, value, knowledge,
    motives etc that are learned and propagated to generations.
    there are some characteristics of culture and can be discussed as culture is learned behaviour, culture is an adaptive mechanism, culture is dynamic, ethnocentrism in culture, culture does’nt exist in isolation etc. with respect to Indian culture, it has many important factors. India having a diversified cultural elements, have several religious cultures,arts, languages, customs, life-style, way of worshipping God, Idol-worship. The most common among all castes and religious group is the resect and regards to elders in society by younger generation. The Hindu culture,having thousands of Gods and Goddesses, practice of Idol worship, celebrating festivals Holi, Dussehra, Diwali, Pongal, Bihu, Onam etc and most importantly all Indians of all religions celebrating different religious festivals together is a unique flavour of Indian culture.
    Indian attire- the way and style of wearing cloths- Saris by women, Dhoti-kurta by Men as traditional ones and now adopting western dresses by men and women is also a unique experiment in Indian culture. Culture of Languages and diversity of Indian people in different region in india make it more beautiful and looks like several notes of music has made a united India’s song of cultural unity.
    India being a diverse cultured nation have unity in it’s diversity and it’s old generation culture is pouring its way of life in generation to generation by giving an Identity of Great Indians.

    • sayoni

      Culture is a way of life.It refers to a human-made environment which includes all the material [dress,food,etc] and non-material [ideas,believes,etc] products of group life which are transmitted from one generation to the next.It is the way an individual and especially a group live,think,organize themselves and share life.
      The general characteristics of culture are;
      1.Culture is learned and acquired
      2.Culture is shared by a group of people
      3.Culture changes with the addition of new ideas and new techniques
      4.Culture is diverse
      5.It involves how an act should be done and how an individual should act appropriately.
      Some of the important characteristics of Indian culture are;
      1.Continuity and Change-Even today some of the house pattern in the villages are not quite different from that of the Harappas.But,unlike Harappan single storey houses,one can also see multistoried houses in urban areas.With continuity,culture has kept on changing,keeping its basic spirit unchanged.
      2.Variety and Unity-India is a secular country in which people of different religion,speaking different languages and celebrating different festivals live together.Different styles of dance and music exist in the country.This wide variety has led to the making of Indian culture a composite one.
      3.Universalism-India has a universal outlook and it has been promoting the message of peace and harmony to the entire world..
      4.Materialistic and Spiritualistic-Along with the belief in different gods and goddesses,in ancient India,people also wrote texts on medicines,on planets and stars.In the field of science and mathematics also India’s achievements in ancient time are remarkable.

      • Sanjhi

        Nice structure.

        • Aslesha Garapati

          4 char. look different from others..well framed..I think its a precise answer. 🙂

      • Good

      • Kumar Bhaskar Bhushan

        Too good…

  • Chandra

    “The period between B.C. 600 and B.C. 200 is important not only for political unity of the country but also for cultural unity.” Comment (200 Words).

    B.C. 600 is the manifestation of 16 great Mahajanapadas and several Janapadas, who were ruling the whole India by giving strong
    poltical unity. There are the evidences that the Mahajanpadas were having marital relations and friendly relations with each other
    and ofcourse this was the period when Indian political affairs were visible. Maurya empire, which was flourished in Norh India was the greatest empire in ancient Indian History and Ashoka’s Kalinga’s invasion is the greatest evidence of polical strength at that point of time.
    But at the same time, it can’t be denied that cultural unity was also at peak at the same time when Political unity was resembled in the
    period of B.C. 600 to B.C. 200. When Hindu religion was at the peak of orthodoxy, society and morality were at the verge of distruction of unity, then two religions emerged like the symbol of revival and unity in Indian society- Jainism by Mahavira and Budhism by Gautam Budhha.
    culture of peace and conscience were established and the great convergence of unity in culture were manifested. Chandragupta Maurya followed the path of Jainism , Ajatshatru and Aashoka followed the path of Buddhism. Not only they internalized the religions in their way of life, also they spreaded in different parts of India and abroad. hence it can rightly said that the period between B.C. 600 and B.C. 200 is important not only for political unity of the country but also for cultural unity.

    • NEHA

      Very well written….includes appropriate points on both the part of the question…

    • Vinz

      nice logical conclusion

  • md moshahid faizan


    The name ‘Sattriya’ has been derived from the word ‘Sattra’ which are religious Institutes set up by the Vishnava Saint Shrimanta Shankardev, for the preservation and propagation of tradition, culture and religion. It was coined centuries after, and represents all that the Saint had created, which brought about a Socio-cultural Renaissance in the Assam Valley.

    Sattriya, or Sattriya Nritya, is one among eight principal classical Indian dance traditions. Whereas some of the other traditions have been revived in the recent past, Sattriya has remained a living tradition since its creation by the Assamese Vaishnav saint Srimanta Sankardeva, in 15th century Assam.

    Sankardeva created Sattriya Nritya as an accompaniment to the Ankiya Naat (a form of Assamese one-act plays devised by him), which were usually performed in the sattras, as Assam’s monasteries are called. As the tradition developed and grew within the sattras, the dance form came to be called Sattriya Nritya. Today, although Sattriya Nritya has emerged from within the confines of the sattras to a much wider recognition, the sattras continue to use the dance form for ritualistic and other purposes for which it was originally created circa 500 years ago.

    Like the other seven schools of classical Indian dance, Sattriya Nritya encompasses the principles required of a classical dance form: the treatises of dance and dramaturgy, like Natyashastra, Abhinaya Darpana, and Sangit Ratnakara; a distinct repertoire (marg) and the aspects of nrtta (pure dance), nrtya (expressive dance), and natya (abhinaya).

    • Sanjhi

      It’s a 100 word question. Plus it’s impossible to remember all these details for the exam. So, just try to write the very basic points about the dance that you can remember in the exam hall!

  • subhash pachar

    Please break the topic othervise it won’t going to serve this topic like specify comprehensively. Giving enough time to 2014 candidates.

    • Sanjhi

      Someone please also post all the questions and lets reply to a question in one place like we do in Secure 2014.

  • Neha

    “The period between B.C. 600 and B.C. 200 is important not only for political unity of the country but also for cultural unity.” Comment.

    The period between 600 B.C. and 200 B.C. saw the rise of two major religions Buddhism and Jainism.
    By this time Vedic Culture was fraught with complex rituals, differentiation of society based on the varna system, costly yagnas aimed at vested interests of the Brahmins.
    This lead to stagnation, unpopularity and decline of Brahminism. This was aided by the kshatriyas and vaishyas who demanded improvement in their social status. This carved a way for emergence of Buddhism and Jainism as an alternative to the oppressive Brahmanism, bringing respite from the orthodox caste system and monopolistic rituals.

    Budhism and Jainism emphasized on good and moral life an ethical conduct. The practice of establishing monasteries, Viharas and chaityas and freedom of participation from all sections including the shudras and women made it a truly unifying agent of Indian culture. Buddhism spread to a very large part of the world- Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Mongolia and Afghanistan. Thus the above mentioned period is very important not only for political unity of the country but also for cultural unity.

    • Neha

      somebody please review my answer

      • Oldton

        intro nd body..good+
        but last 2 sentences…good-
        word limit-good++

  • Sanjhi

    Culture refers to human made environment transmitted from generation to generation. It consists of both materialistic and non materialistic components. The former include food, dress, etc. and the latter include dance, language and ideas.

    General characteristics:
    – Cultural is cumulative and continuous. While being inherited by the present generation, every generation adds its own contributions.
    – Culture is diverse, varies from society to society.
    – Culture is learned and acquired.
    – Culture is ideational, gives us a set of ideal behavioral pattern to follow
    – Culture is transmitted from generation to generation.

    Features of Indian culture:
    – Continuous and changing: While we still follow certain vedic traditions such as construction style of houses in villages and ancient religions such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, we have made several improvements and marked changes in our culture – such as construction style of houses in urban cities, changes in our language, etc.
    – Unity in diversity: While India is marked with diversity of religions, food, dress, etc. certain uniting factors like physical features, climate, monsoon and agriculture unite us.
    – Secular outlook: Despite existence of several religions, the Constitution guarantees freedom to practice and profess any religion.
    – Both materialistic aspects such as writings on science, literature and trade, spiritual aspects such as philosophical schools form part of Indian culture.

    • Oldton

      best way of answering the last part of d answer

  • Sanjhi

    The period between BC 600 and BC 200 saw the rise of 16 Mahajanpadas throughout North India. These Mahajanpadas marked consolidation of the rule of several Janas or tribes in their respective areas and hence brought some political unity in the areas concerned.

    The above period also represented cultural unity as opposition to Brahmanism grew strong across all classes. The Kshatriyas wanted to end the political dominance of the Brahmanas in matters of state. The Dharmashastras prohibited lending of money on interest. Hence, Vaishyas who traded based on borrowed money suffered from social stigma and were eager to improve their position. The worst affected Shudras were considered to be slaves and were excluded from Vedic learning. They were also keen to escape from evils of Brahmanism.

    In this atmosphere rose the Buddhism and Jainism as religious reforms against Brahmanical Hinduism. Both these religious orders did not give any importance to class or caste and were only based on moral and ethical living. They preached simple values such as right action, right thought, right belief which could be followed by all people. Thus, a sense of cultural unity was brought about.

    • Oldton

      in the mid part with reference to vedic varna system the brahmn case may hve been started…jst a sggstn

    • Good

  • Sanjhi

    The Brahmanical Hinduism laid excessive stress on the importance of Brahmanas as mediators between the deity and the devotee. Brahmanas thus occupied the primary position in the caste hierarchy.

    Bhakti movement emerged as a reform movement against Brahmanism. In south India, saint poets called Alvars who worshipped Vishnu and Nayanars who worshipped Shiva emerged. These saints rejected the cold and formal mode of worship practiced in Brahmanism and instead advocated deep devotion and bond of love between the deity and the devotee.

    Both the Alvars and Nayanars paid no attention to the caste system and people from all castes became their followers. There was however no specific attempt to reform the caste system. As opposed to the traditional Brahmanism, several women saints were also present such as Andal and Ammiyar. Alvars and Nayanars sang songs of devotion in praise of their gods and laid no emphasis on elaborate rituals. They thus attempted to reform traditional Hinduism.

  • Sanjhi

    a) Sattriya is one of the eight classical dance forms in India. It was founded by the founder of Vaishnavism in Assam and was traditional performed in monastries of Assam as accompaniment to the one-act plays. Male monks performed on mythological themes to mark important occasions. Presently, both male and female dancers perform Sattriya and themes are not restricted to mythological stories.
    b) Gombeyatta is a form of shadow puppetry in Karnataka. Images of puppets made of leather are projected on a white screen. The puppets represent characters from Mahabharat, Ramayana and Purana. More recent characters such as Mahatma Gandhi are also depicted. Puppeteers also give voice to the puppets.
    c) Purandra Dasa is the grandfather of Carnatic music and one of its prominent composers. He systematized the system of music teaching. He also included colloquial language and teachings from everyday life in his compositions so that the common man could also follow them. His compositions also influenced Hindustani music.
    d) Lai Haraoba is a Manipuri festival depicting the culture of the Meiti people. Lai Haraoba means merry making of the gods and stories of evolution of life on earth, origin of universe, and of plants and animals is depicted. The participants strictly follow celibacy during the festival. Several sports like races are also held and prizes are awarded.

    • GIRIJA

      Sattriya dance is a classical dance,prictices in Assam which is accompaniment to Ankia was founded by has emerged within the confines of sattars.
      . The core of sattriya nritya generally mythologically stories whith music and assamese is played by both and has various aspect like-apsara,behar,chali etc(ABC).
      . Over the year it receives greater importance outside the state and is also recognised in2000,one of the 8 classical dance of India.
      . Gahan chandra Goswami,Jabeswar Goswami,lalit chandra nath ojha are some leading exponent.
      . it has remain a living traddition since its inception in the heart and soul of cultture and dance loving people.
      ….pls review and give comments for improvement……

  • Sanjhi

    The Vijayanagara empire came up in the hills around the Tungabhadra region. This region was famous for the folklore of mother goddess Pampadevi who did penance in the hills to marry Lord Virupaksha.

    Temple architecture had long standing traditions from the time of Cholas, Hoysalas, etc. The ruler was made synonymous with the deity so that he could obtain legitimacy among the people. Kings constructed and maintained several temples. Temples thus grew not only as centres of social, economic and cultural life but also as seats of learning.

    While the Vijayanagara rulers were inspired by these existing traditions of architecture, they added several new features to the temple architecture.
    – Royal visits to temples were now marked as important state occasions and royal portraits were placed in the temple.
    – Concept of gopuram higher than the central shrine was developed. Thus, the temple was visible even from a distance.
    – Vijayanagar rulers also added mandapams or circular pathways around the shrine in the temple complex and chariot streets made of stone slabs.

    These traditional as well as unique features of architecture of Vijayanagar period can be seen in the Vitthala and the Virupaksha temples.

    • Chandra

      Also you can add up:-
      there was Indo-islamic style of architecture- the dome over the gate that is regarded as the architecture introduced by Turkish Sultan.

  • sonali

    it is puppet show which is unique to state of karnataka.
    it is a form of shadow puppetary in this puppet are made up of leather
    and the puppets are usually belongs to the character of hindu epic such
    as ramayana,mahabharat etc.
    but now a days character of great personalities such as mahatma gandhi are also using.
    these puppets are controlled by sticks,string.
    performance usually commence at night and continue till dawn.

    • Neha

      You have written about thogalu Gombatteya, (shadow puppetry) ,I think we had to write about Gombatteya ( its string Puppetry). Please correct me if i am wrong

      • Oldton


  • Bhushan

    The bhakti movement led by Alvaras and Naynars mainly emerged in betn 7th to 9th century in southern part of India(Tamil Nadu).At the time condition of women and lower cast was miserable due to prevailing the system of dominance of brahmins.
    The Nayanars and Alvars were from untouchables.Threre were 63 Nayanars including people from all sects of society.Alvars were 12 having people of lower classes.
    The god shiva revered by Naynaras,Alvars wete kept there allegiance to lord vishnu.According to them the path of salvation was bhakti of their god.They were used to wander place to place to preach and took help of poems.
    They were opponents of Buddhism and Jainism.

    • bhushan ….alvaras started flourishing b/w 500 and 850 A.D….
      all were not untouchables many of them were from brahman families and from ruling dynasties….if u want examples plz refer my post….n if u find some mistakes there..plzz intimate me…thnks…

      • Bhushan

        Thank bro. for your remark , I will be careful next time.Its was my first time .

  • Adie

    Although I have not answer any qstn but I have noticed one thing I will like to bring this to everyone notice(I consider it as my duty towards this site).
    For the very reason that most of us use the same source to study answer of almost everyone is 60-70% same content wise(in defining culture=Q1)….now here comes the caught in taught…when we all use the same source we have written the same line ….so where is the “uniqueness” in the answer which will provide the “extra mark” to get one step forward than other…olwz remember it is the uniqueness even if the content is same that gets u mark…I may be all wrong…it was my analysis for the day….everyone is welcome to comment if I am wrong

    • aslesha2013

      You are not wrong Adie.
      The problem is that almost many of us are following NIOS and some from spectrum.
      Thats because of lack of source. 🙁
      But after a final view on all topics Everyone will create their own unique structure.
      I believe that all the other friends participating are also striving for the unique presentation.
      I searched some source to present a best answer and finally ended up with the NIOS.

      • vijay

        you can refer IGNOU notes on culture, its also very good source….i dont think that you may get it now cz now IGNOU people not allowing it for free download due to some copyright issue….if you downloaded it before….you can use for framing answers….

        • aslesha2013

          Thank u vijay.

        • Neha

          If any one has ignou egyankosh notes of culture please share 🙂

        • Vijay

          Dear Vijay,

          Is it possible if you can forward ignou notes to me @ [email protected]



  • Ans.3 The major brahaminical school of thoughts,jainism,buddhism rejected the concept of god as the creator and destroyer of the universe ,and insisted the doctrine of karma….a different line of thinking developed simultaneously – the concept of supernatural being,a supernatural entity,an omniscient and omnipotent god controlling and preserving the world…known as bhakti movement ,which was characterised by the various monotheistic religions like saivism ,vaishnavism etc.
    And here comes the’ nayanars’ and’ alvars’.. the god intoxicated people for’ saivism’ and ‘vaishnavism’ respectively….who led an inclusive bhakti movement…some of them were….tirumular , karaikkal ammai(a woman) ,appar (an agriculturist) ,nanasambandar , sundarmurti ( poor brahman ) ,cheraman perumal ( chera ruler ) these all were nayanars…..
    Poygai ,pudam ,peyalvar ,Tirumalisai ,Tirumangai , Perialvar ,Andal ( a woman known as meera of south ) ,Tirrupan ( a minstrel of low caste ) ,kulasekhara (ruler of keraka ) , nammalvar … who belonged to ‘alvars’ ….all of them were from different caste ,sects but worked together for bhakti movement and also accomodate women and lower caste communities at a large extent….
    But at the same time some of them or we can say were totally opponents of different traditional religions of that time…….like Buddhism and Jainism.
    some examples are :1.Nanasambandar ( a nayanar ) brahman from tanjore was invited to release the pandya and his country from the tightning grip of jainism…where he foiled all the conspiracies of jainism and vanquishd them in debate and converted the king and his subjects to saivism…..he had also disputations with buddhists…
    2.Manikkavachagar (a nayanar .. a minister of pandyan king) debated with buddhists from ceylon at chidambram and vanquished them……
    3. Tirumangai (an’ alvar’) petty chieftian in tanjore is said to have stolen a golden image of ‘Buddha’ from negapatnam to pay for renovating the temple of srirangam…
    … those many of them were keen controversialists and had no soft word for buddhists ,jainism etc.


    Sattriya or Sattriya Nritya is one among the eight principal classical Indian dance traditions. In the year 2000, the Sattriya dances of Assam received recognition as one of the eight classical dance forms of India.The Sattriya dance form was introduced in the 15th century A.D by the great Vaishnava saint and reformer of Assam, Mahapurusha Sankaradeva. Sankaradeva introduced this dance form by incorporating different elements from various treatises, local folk dances with his own rare outlook. Sattriya dance tradition is governed by strictly laid down principles in respect of hastamudras, footworks, aharyas, music etc. Sattriya Nritya is divided into many Aspects: Apsara Nritya, Behar Nritya, Chali Nritya etc.

  • Bhushan

    India has vast diversity in its culture.If onetalk about Indian culture ,the Indus valley civilization firstly come in to mind.But the civilization emerged and lapsed ,there are no profound repercussion of it on today’s Indiaas the culture betn B.C.600 to B.C.200. In B.C.596,the 24th thirthankar of Jain sect ,Mahavir born.Subsequently in B.C.563 Gautam Buddha born.Tne effects of the sects can realise nowadays also.
    The Chandragupta Maurya ,the founder of Maurya dynasty,was the first emperor ,whom tried to establish a consolidated emperor.Vishnugupta Chanakya helped him in his aim.Chanakya had written “Arthashastra” which deals with administration of state.Which is also helpful in todays administration.Ashoka,the grandson of Chandragpta,was agreat emperor in Indian history.Despite of winning a war (Kaling) and being emperor ,he renounced his emperorhood and took diksha of Buddhism.He mounted stupa,stumbha,hospices for preaching of Buddhism.There are great impact of Buddhism and Jainism on architecture of later era eg are Ajanta caves,Ellora caves .The national symbol of India of four lions are invoked from Ashokan era.The wheel having 24 spokes on middle of flag of India indicates the teaching of dhamma of Ashoka.
    Brahmnical varna were emerged in the same periond.

  • vijay

    What is culture and what are its general characteristics? Discuss any four important characteristics of Indian culture. (200 Words)

    Culture may be defined as the way an individual and a group live, think, feel and organize themselves, celebrate and share life. In deeper sense it is culture that produces various art forms -literature, music, dance, sculpture, architecture for the smooth functioning of the society.

    Culture has different characteristics. It can be acquired, lost or shared. It is cumulative. It is dynamic, diverse, ideational and gives us a range of permissible behaviour-pattern.
    Indian culture has few unique characteristics: Assimilation, Unity in diversity, Syncretic tradition, Religious Tolerance, Cultural Traditions of the Elite and the Masses.

    Assimilation: cultural assimilation has cut across regions, religious communities, rules and regulations of specific castes.

    Unity in Diversity: we are one of the most diverse peoples in the world in terms of biological traits, dress, language, occupation. It is not possible to separate the lives and livelihood, food habits and dress patterns, settlements of the different communities.

    Syncretic Tradition: Composite culture has been the hallmark of the Indian tradition. Starting with the Aryan migrations to India, the fusion of cultures has constantly taken place. Ex: Indo-Greek and Indo-Islamic architecture styles, sculpture and painting in ancient India, Urdu as a medium of literature and state-craft represents finest form of our syncretic tradition, Bhakti and sufi movements.

    Religious Tolerance: Almost all religions of the world live side by side in India. Since ancient times, this spirit has prevailed and the religious issues were sorted out more by debate than by violence.

    Culture is closely linked with life. Without culture, there would be no humans. It gives us meaning, a way of leading our lives. Diverse cultural trend has unified India and played important role in social, economic and political development of our nation.

    earier i wrote wrong answer for 2nd part of the question.
    plz review this answer

    • Oldton

      brother it seems that..according to ur answer ..the first part is of 5 marks question type nd 2nd part is of 15 but it z no where mentioned in d question…u should hve given fair weightage to the both parts

      • vijay

        yeah i have given equal weightage for both parts,question demands only to mention the characteristics of culture, so mentioned 7 general characteristics….if i explain them again, i will be ended in crossing word limit by large extent(already my answer breached the word limit)…..plz have a look again and suggest me

        • Oldton

          look brother ur overall content is good…but u made a century but unable to influence the game

          • vijay

            i should have make these characteristics as list…..i re-read it again…..its ok dear, thanx for reviewing…..

  • Neha

    a) The Sattriya dance form of Assam was recognized as one among the 8 classical dances of India in 2000. Introduced in the 15th century A.D by the great Vaishnava , Sankaradeva as a powerful medium for propagation of the Vaishnava faith.
    Practised , nurtured and preserved by celibate vaishnava monks residing in sattras , its aptly called Sattriya .The core of Sattriya has usually been mythological stories. It is an artistic way of presenting mythological teachings to the people in an accessible, immediate, and enjoyable manner.
    The dance tradition is governed by strictly laid down principles in respect of hastamudras, footworks, aharyas, and music based on classical ragas.

    • Oldton

      really very well written in a lucid way…was feeling sleepy but it refreshed me…thanks

      • Neha

        can someone tell me if the Gombeyatta and Togalu Gombeyatta are the same thing.. as far as i find both are slightly different

        • Prerna

          Gombeyatta is a string puppet where as Togalu Gombeyyata is a shadow puppet ..

      • Neha


    • 1414

      Nice answer

  • Sucheritha

    QN 1: What is culture and what are its general characteristics? Discuss any four important characteristics of Indian culture.

    Culture is the embodiment of the way in which we think and do things. It is also the things that we have inherited as members of society. All the achievements of human beings as members of social groups can be called culture. Art, music, literature, architecture, sculpture,philosophy, religion and science can be seen as aspects of culture. However, culture also includes the customs, traditions, festivals, ways of living and one’s outlook on various issues of life.Culture thus refers to a human-made environment which includes all the material and non material products of group life that are transmitted from one generation to the next.Culture consists of explicit and implicit patterns of behavior acquired by human beings. These may be transmitted through symbols,constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiment as artifacts. The essential core of culture thus lies in those finer ideas which are transmitted within a group-both historically derived as well as selected with their attached value. culture consists of explicit and implicit
    patterns of behaviour acquired by human beings.
    General Characteristics of Culture:
    1. Culture is learned and acquired
    2. Culture is shared by a group of people
    3. Culture is cumulative
    4. Culture changes
    5. Culture is dynamic
    6. Culture gives us a range of permissible behavior patterns
    7. Culture is diverse
    8. Culture is often it lays down an ideal pattern of behavior that are expected to be followed by individuals so as to gain social acceptance from the people with the same culture.

    Four important characteristics of Indian culture:

    Continuity and change: Indian culture has had an enduring character. Despite major changes and upheavals significant threads of continuity can be traced throughout the course of Indian history right upto the present day.Indian Culture has kept on discarding what was becoming irrelevant in the modern age. In our long history, there have been periods of ups and downs. As a result, movements have grown and reforms brought about. The reform movements in the Vedic religion brought about by Jainism and Buddhism in sixth century BC and the religious and social awakening in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in modern India are a few examples when revolutionary changes were brought about in Indian thought and practices.

    2.Variety and Unity: A large number of languages and dialects are spoken in our country which has led to the growth of a great variety of literature. People belonging to eight great religions of the world co-exist here in a harmonious manner.This wide variety has led to the making of Indian culture both composite one and rich and beautiful at the same time.India through the ages has shown a remarkable capacity for assimilation of ideas. This has contributed to the variety and richness of our culture. Along with contacts with outside cultures, cultural exchange between different regions of India has also continued.As a result, people transmitted cultural habits and thoughts from one part of the country to the other.Another unifying factor is climate. Despite geographical diversity and climatic variations India experiences an inherent unity. The system of monsoons is the most important component of the Indian climatic pattern and this gives unity to the whole country.

    Secular Outlook: The secular character of Indian culture is a result of the intermingling of people belonging to diverse cultural groups over a long period of time. There have been instances of occasional conflicts here and there, but by and large, people have lived together peacefully for centuries. The popular cultural traditions of India are the best examples of such cultural synthesis in which a large number of people belonging to different religious groups come together.

    4.Universalism: The concept of coexistence has not been confined to the geographical and political boundaries of the country only. India has a universal outlook and it has been promoting the message of peace and harmony to the entire world.

    • Oldton

      dont have the courage to read such a long answer at 1 am will eview it tomorrow…sister 200 words nd urs 641…

  • Neha

    b) Gombeyaata
    The string puppets of Karnataka are called Gombeyatta. They are styled and designed like the characters of Yakshagana, the traditional theatre form of the region. The Gombeyatta puppet figures are highly stylized and have joints at the legs, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.
    Episodes enacted in Gombeyatta are usually based on Prasangas of the Yakshagana plays. The music that accompanies is dramatic and beautifully blends folk and classical elements.

  • Ans. 5 Vijaynagara architecture can be classified into religious ,courtly ,civic architecture. Different architectures borrowed from different traditional architectures like…chalukyas ,hosyalas ,pandayas ,cholas and some from islamic infuences also.
    The difference was a little bit in their styles ,but in material much like ..chalukyas and hosyalas used soapstone (schist) for their temple construction ,whereas vijaynagaras used hard granite (bcz durable material ).
    The vijaynagara rulers are branded as the custodians of hindu culture in south india. As the result their ruling period of over three centuries small ,big ,gigantic temples were constructed.
    Their temples are known for black stone ,pillars ,polishing stones ,similar chola styles like garbhagriha ,mandapa ,rayagopuram (gopuram in case of cholas ) etc.
    Hampi ,tadpatri ,penugonda ,kanchi ,tirupati ,udayagiri etc. are still having glorious masterpieces of vijaynagara times.
    Sri virupaksha temple , Hazara rama temple ,lord Balakrishna swamy temples are three gems of their art and architecture.
    Some shrines in VITTHALPURA area inside vijaynagara were contructed specifically for tamil ‘alvars’ saints ramanujacharya.. etc. each shrine has an image depicting the saint for whose worship the temple was built. each shrine having separate enclosure ,kitchen and pilgrim feeding hall .
    A storage stepped water tank at the center which is as same as western chalukya – hosyalas style (k/a pushkarni ).this can be seen in many parts of karnataka.
    In palaces the courtly architecture generally show secular styles with islamic influences . Examples are: lotus mahal palace , Elephant stables , watch towers etc.
    This all show that vijaynagara architectures were really inspired by many more traditional architectures.

  • Neha

    Purandara Dasa was one of the most prominent composers of Carnatic music. Through his music he not only worshipped the lord but also fought the evils of casteism, untouchability through his songs. His compositions are majorly in kannada and Sanskrit. Most his songs are in praise of Lord Narayana and other Devatas. Due to this, he is believed to be an avatar of Narada.
    Purandara Dasa was a performer, musicologist, and the founder of musical pedagogy. For all these reasons and the enormous influence that he had on Carnatic music, musicologists call him the “Sangeeta Pitamaha” (grandfather) of Carnatic music

  • Neha

    is a religious festival of the Meitei community of Manipur, belonging to a pre-Hindu tradition. Celebrated any time between April and June, lai haraoba may last from a day to a month depending on the enthusiasm and finances of the community.

    The festival begins with the waking of the deity from water. The evening rituals consist of offering flowers to the deity by the common people , singing & a dance to invoke the deity . Finally, there are the closing rituals , when all the cultic objects are returned to the temple, with a concluding song to lull the deity to sleep.

    Apart from affirming the pre-Hindu cultural identity of the Meiteis, lai-haroba provides the foundations for the dance and theatrical traditions of Manipur.

    • Neha

      the question is 100 word note on Lai-Haroba

  • kalyani

    What is culture and what are its general characteristics? Discuss any four important characteristics of Indian culture. (200 Words)

    Culture is a set of practices acquired in a community, society, or country in the long run. It is very difficult to describe culture in few words, as its horizon is very wide. Still, culture is closely related with people, place, beliefs, practices and so on. It changes continuosly to accept the new changes in the society. It is an enduring process.

    In the case of India, India is well known for its culture and traditions across the world. Unity in diversity is the foremost feature of Indian culture. India is a big country different varieties of people. People of around 8 major religions live in India without much problems. So, Secularism is another feature of Indian culture. India has a rich cultural tradition and it has passed through many stages. With its porous borders many outsiders came to India. Some of them settled here. Some of them invaded and returned. But they all left their remains in India and India adopted many things from them.

    Still, the basic structure of India remained unchanged. Indian art forms, architecture, literature, family life all are very unique. That is why many Western people are aping Indian culture. Vice versa is also happening. Eg. English language- English is our official language because of the long British rule.

    Spirituality is another important feature of Indian culture. It is closely linked with India. India is a vast country and in a way we can say that inside India many ‘countries’ exist. But when it comes to the matter of anything which affect India’s unity, all these ‘countries’ become one and that is India, and that is our culture.

  • Ans.4(d) LAI HARAOBA is a manipuri festival of ‘meities’ (majority ethnic group of manipur) celebrated to please their traditional deities, and worship of their deities and ancestors .
    The festival is celebrated to recollect the creation stories played by their dieties with the first origin of universe and evolution of the plants and animals through the will of ATIYA SHIDABA (their supreme god ).
    Lai haraoba means ” merry making of the gods “.
    There are six major types of lai haraoba. The difference between them are very wide and broad ,but the theme of all the festivals are same.
    The differences are in the variations of the processes and in cultural aspect but not in the inner wisdom and their philosophical thoughts.
    Six forms are:
    1.Kanglei(imphal) haraoba.
    2. Chakpa haraoba.
    3.Andro haraoba.
    4.Sekmai haraoba.
    5.Moirang haraoba.
    6.Kakching haraoba.

  • vijay

    What are the architectural traditions that inspired the architects of Vijayanagara? How did they transform these traditions? (200 Words)

    Architecture traditions are true manifestations of the culture of a period as it reflect the mind and approach of that society. Vijayanagar empire founded in 1336, was the only Hindu city from the pre-modern period which has many architectural sites grouped under residential structures, religious architecture, public works.

    Temples of Vijayanagara were followed Chalukya, Hoysala and kakateeya styles in their northern domain and DRAVIDIAN i.e. the Pandya, Pallava and Chola styles in South. Built with a strong enclosure, the Vijayanagar temple has a high gateway, crowned by a GOPURA. The main temple has GARBHAGRIHA. Ex: Hazararama and Vithalaswami temples.

    Another notable feature of this period was the construction of a number of ‘MANDAPA’s in the premises of a temple. ‘SABHAMANDAPA’ s, supported by carved pillars displaying all special features of Vijayanagara style. Decorative friezes are found horizontally on the plinth mouldings, caves and the pillars in the interior of a temple.

    The PILLARS constitute a unique aspect. Numerous compositions are used in raising the pillars. Pillars have ornamental brackets as capitals. Usually this bracket is a pendant known as bodegai in local dialect.

    Some SECULAR BUILDINGS have the impress of Muslim architecture. The brick and mortar works like the Kamala Mahal and the elephant stable have arches and domes.
    Vijayanagara empire observed the several architectural styles of popular dynasties and founded its own style of architecture, which are telling the glory of the empire.

    • ji

      good answer….

    • aslesha2013

      most of the answer described about the structure of the parts of the temples of vijayanagar empire.
      i think the core theme of the question is missing.
      Traditions that inspired are given less emphasis.
      But you have described their glory and adapted models well.
      keep writing 🙂

      • vijay

        thanx madam….i didnt get the proper source….i got only dravidian and secular traditions only….if you found any new points, plz inform me…….also if time permits, plz keep reviewing my answers

        • aslesha2013

          we are need of madam 🙂
          I will provide if i find any good stuff on dat vijay.

          • vijay


    • Giridhar Thattybatty

      Gud1 ur answer ll fetch u gud marks add some keywords like ‘Vesara style of architecture’ – a mix of dravidian(South) n nagara(north) style, n explain what s garbhagraha, like in it’s English name Sanctum sanctorum… All the Best…

  • Lloyd

    What is culture and what are its general characteristics? Discuss any four important characteristics of Indian culture. (200 Words)
    Culture is one which represents knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, law, customs and other capabilities acquired by a human being as a member of the society. The basic elements of culture are values, norms, symbols (eg. Language), folklore and religious ideas. There are three main characteristics of culture: Normative system, expressive system and system of ideas. The normative system is characterized by a kind of social restraint over the behavior of individuals in a society wherein they are expected to behave in a certain way and there is a informal code of conduct which cannot be breached by anyone. Art, music, dance and drama form the expressive system of a culture and the system of ideas through which members of a society interpret the world around them in a meaningful way. Four important characteristics of Indian culture include: Caste system or hierarchy,Spiritualism or Dharma, Tolerance, holistic approach towards the relationship between individual and group. In Indian society the caste system classified individuals on the basis of birth, placed them on an hierarchy from belonging to a higher category to a lower category which in turn regulated their conduct and the share of societal resources that they could enjoy. Through the dharma philosophy Indians gave high importance to morality and ethics in life. Tolerance or pluralism is one aspects through which people belonging to different cultural backgrounds, speaking different languages, having different ideas and following different cultures assimilated into the Indian society. Since the beginning Indians have given importance to joint family system where successive generations of a family continue to stay together. Also the interests of the community are always important over the interest of a particular individual.

    • NEHA

      Your answer is an amalgamation of all important points….very well written….but I would like to suggest one thing that always break your answer into paragraphs in order to highlight different part of questions asked….this will make it more interesting for readers…
      Apart from this your answer is very well structured….

      • NEHA

        Please review my answers below….

  • Lloyd

    The Alvars and Nayanars of Tamil Nadu led an inclusive Bhakti movement where they accommodated the women and the lower caste communities at the same time opposing the traditional religions of the time. Comment. (200 Words)
    Kings of medieval south India favoured Vedic rituals and assigned the Brahmans to perform these rituals. These Brahmans belonged to the elite as far as the Varna structure was concerned. However, there developed in Tamil Nadu, during the 6th and the 7th centuries devotionalism towards a supreme God-head. This devotionalism was spread far and wide across the state by the Alvar and Nayanar saints. One striking feature of these group of people was that they represented all the strata of the society. Many worked as artisans and farmers Many of them even belonged to the lower castes, which was against the principles propagated by brahminism. They did not believed in too many Gods or deities but cultivated devotion and love towards a single God. They composed and sang hymns in a language which was understood by the masses. The important part was that they were in touch with the masses and were aware of their social and economic conditions and the low stature given to women in their society. Therefore, they tried to oppose this norm and worked for the upliftment of women which can be understood by the presence of women saints such as Andal at that time.

  • Lloyd

    “The period between B.C. 600 and B.C. 200 is important not only for political unity of the country but also for cultural unity.” Comment. (200 Words)
    The period after 6th century BC saw a considerable rise in population which led to the development of Mahajanapadas or territories with huge populations eg. Kosala, Kashi, Magadha etc. There was also a huge rise in the number of villages, towns and cities. This led to a rise in the demand for various goods which in turn led to a rise in trade, commerce and other economic activities. Traders and merchants traded in goods such as ivory, perfumes, silk, muslin etc. with not only traders within India but also with countries such as Sri Lanka and Burma. Kings such as Ashoka maintained huge armies and paid them well. This rise in the economic strength of Kshatriyas and Vaishyas, who challenged the supremacy and high-handedness of the Brahmins. These factors made the Varna system more rigid. However the condition of the shudras got deprived during this period as the growth was limited to the upper 3 varnas. This challenge posed by the newly strengthened varnas also led to neo-religious movements such as Buddhism and Jainism which grew mainly because of the support of the lower classes like Shudras and trading classes like Vaishyas respectively. Also the Magadh empire reached its greates territorial expansion under Ashoka thus politically unifying our country under a single central power.
    Thus the statement holds good.

    • Vinz

      given 200 words you can’t explain the verna system and trade. but the question demands different views of political and cultural unity which was lacking in your answer.
      but a good answer.

  • NEHA

    Ans1- Culture is a word derived from latin word ‘cult or cultus’ which means cultivating or refining and worship. Thus it means cultivating and refining a thing to such an extent that its end products evokes our admiration and respect.
    Therefore culture is what makes us human and is made of traditions, beliefs, way of life from the most spiritual to most material.
    Pattern and integrity , symbolism, adaptivility, diverse, dynamic, cumulative are some of the general characteristics of culture.

    Four important characteristics of culture can be defined as follows-:
    *culture is dynamic- culture keeps on introducing new ideas and techniques by the passage of time and thus the old concepts and ways keeps on modifying and replaced by new ones. Therefore no culture stays on permanent state.

    *culture is a group product- The group product is the by product of culture shared by the social activities of the society. The group product provides important knowledge and experience about the racial and ethnic activities.

    *culture is adaptive- The culture adaptation is an evolutionary process that modifies the social life of the people in the given natural environment and human adaptation involves transformation of clothing, food shelter, music, arts, including beliefs, traditions and history.

    *Culture is diverse- The culture is different for different individuals as we must consider the social experiences, traditions, mores amd other cultural ways in the community.
    Although they are all separate but are interdependent with one another forming culture as a whole.

  • NEHA

    Ans2- By about 600 BC, several kingdoms and republics were formed which were popularly known as Janapadas and Mahajanapadas. These republics consisted of Kosala, Magadha, Vatsa, Avanti, Kashi and many more which were all ruled by a group of selected persons or a selected chief. These kingdoms introduced many new laws and hereditary system of rule was put to an end.
    On the other hand, Magadha which was ruled by Bimbisara at that time brought about a unity within different regions like the Gandhara in noth west of India by means of trade and infrastructures. These all brought about a political unity during the period.

    From the cultural aspect too, the period produces the evidences of unity. During the period of 600 BC-200 BC, society was undercontrol of the orthodoxy of vedic religion and rituals which brought in focus the emergence of two religions- Buddhism and Jainism. These two religious sects generated a sense of conciousness and reality behind existence of human life. These aspects of thoughts of these sects influenced even the great kings of the period like Chandragupta who followed Jainism and Ashoka who followed path of Buddhism.

    They worked on spreading the moral values of these religions not only in parts of India but also outside the country. Thus it can said in a nutshell that the period between 600 and 200 BC marked the polity unity along with cultural unity in the country.

  • NEHA

    Ans3- An important landmark in the cultural history of medieval India was the silent revolution in society brought about by a galaxy of socio religious reformers, a revolution known as Bhakti Movement.

    In the Southern India, the Bhakti movements (about 6th century) were led by the Alvars (meaning devotees of Vishnu) and Nayanars (meaning devotees of Shiva). The leaders of these two school of Bhakti combined their forces to give a severe blow to the non-vedic faiths.

    The Alvars and Nayanars started a movement of protest against the caste system and the dominance of Brahmans or at least made efforts to reform them. This view is supported by the fact that these Bhakti reformers came from diverse social backgrounds such as cultivators, artisans and “untouchables”. This Bhakti movement laid the idea of Supreme God. It emphasized on the fact that it was possible for devotees regardless of their caste or creed and sex , to receive the grace of God.
    This was the reason why the great poet like Kabir who belonged to a weaver family and great woman poet like Mirabai are the best known personalities emerged out of this Bhakti tradition.

    • NEHA 126

      Friends please review my answers

    • kalyani

      Hi Neha, you didnt mention about women. Then no need to mention about Meera bhai and Kabir. Since, question is about Alwar and Nayanar, you could have given more weightage to the matters related to Alwars and Nayanars. But your intro part is good.

  • kalyani

    The Alvars and Nayanars of Tamil Nadu led an inclusive Bhakti movement where they accommodated the women and the lower caste communities at the same time opposing the traditional religions of the time. Comment (200 Words)

    The Alwars and Nayanars of Tamil Nadu which became prominent in the 6th – 7th centuries got wider attention from all sects of life. Their policy to accept lower communities and women to their movement made it popular. Many women, who were strictly under the patriarchal form of society, came into forefront with this movement. Women like Andal, who is a devotee of Vishnu and Karaikkalamaiyar, who is a devotee of Vishnu were prominent among them. They composed many songs in praise of their favourite Gods. Karaikkalamaiyar’s real name was Punitavati and was the daughter of the chief of Karaikkal. She renowned everything and joined with these movements.

    Though Budhism and Jainism existed early, the Bhakti poems of these movements opposed them vehemently especially Nayanar sects. Some commented it is due to the competition between such groups and to get more royal patronages. But kingdoms like Chera, Chola supported these movement and constructed many Siva and Vishnu temples. So, in a way we can assume that they promoted these movements may be because of its Tamil nationality and Tamil origin.

    • NEHA 126

      Thanks a [email protected] kalyani for reviewing my will help me improve my ans…..
      your ans is well structured…but you have not talked about minorities much….I think you should add a few more points regarding that….otherwise your ans is comprehensive….keep writing and reviewing:)

      • kalyani

        Thanks Neha for your review. Yes I could have added more on that also. Anyway will take care of it. you also keep writing 🙂 All the best 🙂

  • kalyani

    The Sattriya dance form (100 words)

    The Sattriya dance is one of the eight classical dance forms in India. Its origin is Assam from 15th century AD by Vaishnavite saint Sankaradeva. The term Sattriya derived from Sattra which means monastery. It was performed by monks in the monasteries. Later, it was practiced by men from outside Sattras. Also earlier women were not performed and women’s role was done by men by dressing like women. Later women also were included. It is performed as single or as a group. It is accompanied by drums, violin and other instruments. This dance form is even mentioned in ancient texts like Natya sastra and in sculptures. Now a day more women are joining and number of men fell down drastically.

  • kalyani

    GOMBEYAATA (100 words)

    Togalu Gombeyaata is a puppet show unique to Karnataka. It is played with puppets made of leather. Puppets are made and strings attached with it. People behind the screen made the movement of strings and it is shown in a white screen. Normally the charecters are taken from epics, Ramayana and Mahabharatha. In modern times role model personalities like Mahatma Gandhiji was also shown as the charecters. Usually it is performed in nights and continues till dawn.

  • kalyani


    Purandaradasa was a great Carnatic music composer and widely known as the ‘Grandfather of Carnatic music.’ His contribution as a musician and a human being is quite noteworthy. In Carnatic music he systematized many things and made Raga Mayamamalavagowla as the introductory raga for beginners. Also made Dhattu varisha, Swarajati, Alankaram, Krithis and so on in a systemic way and that is still used for the Carnatic music students. He also had great interest in Hindustani music and many of his compositions are used by Hindustani musicians. He used to compose in Kannada as well as Sanskrit languages. He has composed around 4.75 lakh kritis. He also stood against caste discrimination and untouchability and wrote many songs against such practices.

  • Gajendra

    Culture is a human made behavioral environment. It represents the share of the knowledge of languages, regions, attitude, moral etc. among the group of people. Social harmony, societal nature, unity in diversity, continuity and change, secularism and human integrity are some of the characteristics of the Culture.
    Indian society is based on culture that came into existence before 5000 years ago.
    Some important characteristics of Indian culture:
    Social harmony: intermingling of various cultures of India that were grown under the same roof resulted the social cooperation among the peoples following different kind of culture like one in Revolt of 1857.

    Unity in diversity: India is a land of diversity. Here we can see many culture adhered to different societies living with each other like the formation of Congress in 1885. There can be lingual similarity r traditional similarity which attach them with each other.

    Continuity and change: Culture is a dynamic element which transmit from one generation to other. Along wit this movement there can be some changes with the passing of time like British legacy that influence Indian culture.

    Secularism: this is the characteristic of Indian society, get protection in the Constitution of India, which allow persons with different religions to live together.

  • Ajeet

    What is culture and what are its general characteristics? Discuss any four important characteristics of Indian culture. (200 Words)

    Culture is way of live. It depicts the way people dressed, eats, interact etc.
    The general characteristics are:-
    a) It is learned and acquired.
    b) It is shared by group of people.
    c) It is changes with time.
    d) It is used for socialization.

    The four important characteristics of Indian culture are:-
    a) Spirituality
    b) Non-violence
    c) Diversity and Unity
    d) Secular outlook

    Spirituality: Indian culture promotes the oneness of Brahman-atman. It shows tells that about the salvation of human being. Ancient literature like Purana , Upnishadas etc has propagated these ideologies.

    Non-Violence: This feature of culture was propagated by Jains and Buddhist. It care and Value the Life. In recent past, Mahatma Gandhi has revived this characteristic. He used Non-Violence as important weapon in the struggle of freedom.

    Diversity and Unity: India is home land of many religions, communities and
    tribes. There are many languages spoken in different part of country. The folks and festivals are also different. These diversities don’t bisect the people. People are living together from thousands of years with peace and harmony.

    Secular Outlook: Indian culture has Constitutional support. It is a proponent of Secularism. It don’t biases a particular religion, caste or class.

  • Ajeet

    Question: The period between B.C. 600 and B.C. 200 is important not only for political unity of the country but also for cultural unity.” Comment. (200 Words)

    The period of BC 600 to 200 is a later vedic period. It has seen the emergence of Janpadas and Mahajanpadas. They interacted with each other through marriages, trade and wars. This period has provided a political stability and strengthened the Unity of region.

    However, Cultural growth during this period was also significant. The emergence of Jainism and Buddhism in later vedic period had promoted the Unity. The Out caste people of Brahmanism got new opportunities to become part of main stream culture. Downgraded women of Brahmanism got new opportunities towards their salvation.

    The Brahmanism of early vedic had divided the society. It has seen its downfall in this period.

    Both Jainism and Buddhism spread all across the country. People of different region contributed their local culture in it. Many times Kings and Brahman also joined the sanghas to break the barriers of castes.

    Moreover, Brahmanism also got transformed into Hinduism. Secular worship was promoted with help of literature like Purana and Upnishadas.

    Therefore, the period of BC 600 to 200 has not only provided the Political Unity but also strengthen the cultural unity of the Country.

  • Ajeet

    Question:- The Alvars and Nayanars of Tamil Nadu led an inclusive Bhakti movement where they accommodated the women and the lower caste communities at the same time opposing the traditional religions of the time. Comment. (200 Words)

    Bhakti movement started in Tamil Nadu during Medieval period. Alvars and Nayanars started this movement. Alvars were devotees of Vishnu and Nayanars were of Shiva.

    Alvar and Nayanar criticized the supremacy of Brahmins. They refused the ideology of Vedas and worshiped their own Literature. They believed that the inequality and exploitation in society is because of the caste system laid by Brahmins. Major suffering of this system was borne by lower caste peoples and women.

    Bhakti movement has its genesis in the exploitation of traditional religion. Therefore, it has incorporated all section of society to break the caste and class barriers.

    The ideology of Bhakti was simple. They propagated the deity worship. It was the only way for salvation.

    As both Jains and Buddhism were silent on existence of God, Alvar and Nayanar criticized both these religion.

    Bhakti movement was based on lines of inclusiveness of the society. People from all sections contributed in it. Women wrote many prose and poetry in devotion of deity.

    Therefore, this movement gave a new life and opportunities to Women and lower caste people to attain salvation. Such Opportunities were never provided by traditional religion.

  • Ajeet

    Write a short note on the following in about 100 Words: 4 x 5 = 20
    a) The Sattriya dance form
    b) Gombeyaata
    c) Purandaradasa
    d) Lai Haraoba

    Sattriya Dance:-
    It is a classical dance founded by Shankaradev in Assam. Shankaradev was proponent of Vishanavism. He developed Sattriya dance form to depict the methodological stories.

    This dance was performed in Sattriya. These were the monasteries of vishanav monk. This how it got its name. This dance is practiced by both male and female devotees.

    It is a puppet show of Karnataka. Puppets used in show were made up of leather. It is performed in local language i.e. Kannada. The stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata are depicted through Gombeyaata.

    He is prominent musician of Carnatic music. He contributed to music in both Kannada and Sanskrit language. He fought with social evils like casteism and untouchability through his songs. He is regarded as Grandfather of Carnatic music.

    Lai Haraoba:-
    It is religious dance festival of Manipur. It called as festival of God’s. In this festival Meitei Community worship the traditional deities and ancestors

  • Ajeet

    What are the architectural traditions that inspired the architects of Vijayanagara? How did they transform these traditions? (200 Words).

    Vijayanagara Empire architects drawn its inspirations from two sources:-
    a) The Old temples build in Chola, Chalukyas kingdom
    b) Contemporary rulers of Deccan and Gujarat.

    The Kings of Vijayanagra followed the tradition of past kingdoms like Cholas. They built the new temples and upgraded the older ones to gain the acceptance among the common people.

    Architecture features of Deccan Sultanate like Dome, Tall tower (Minars) were incorporated as a new feature during Vijayanagara Empire.

    The features were transformed by building various styles of monuments for different purposes.
    These monument are classified as
    a) Sacred Center.
    b) Royal Center

    Sacred Center: These were the temple dedicated for worship of deity. The added features are Gopuram, Mandapas.

    Royal Center: These were the secular temples used for public celebrations.e.g. Mahanavami. The added features are big central hall.